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Arkansas Man Claims Byetta Caused Pancreatic Cancer

Jun 3, 2013

An Arkansas man claims that taking the type 2 diabetes drug Byetta caused him to develop pancreatic cancer.

After developing pancreatic cancer and beginning chemotherapy and radiation therapies, the man also developed jaundice. His lawsuit against Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. is among the first to be filed since federal health officials announced in March that they’re investigating a link between Byetta and pancreatic cancer.

The Arkansas man is being represented by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP and San Diego-based The Drakulich Firm and the lawsuit was recently filed in federal court in Southern California.

The claim against the makers of Byetta alleges that the companies were aware that their diabetes drug could cause pancreatic cancer but did not warn the public or regulators of this risk. It alleges that Amylin and Eli Lilly each provided false and misleading information about the safety of Byetta.

The Arkansas man claims he began taking Byetta in 2007, just two years after it was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He took the drug until June 2012. In February of this year, the man underwent a CT scan that revealed the presence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most common form of pancreatic cancer, according to an announcement of the lawsuit provided by Parker Waichman.

The announcement also reports that a recent study published by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) noted that people who take a drug like Byetta increase their risk of developing pancreatic cancer 25 times over normal.

Following his cancer diagnosis, the Arkansas man underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments to battle the disease. In the course of those treatments, the man developed jaundice, which is generally marked by a yellowing of the skin and eyes. His lawsuit seeks damages for those injuries as well as for the misleading and harmful claims made by the makers of Byetta.

According to our previous reports, the FDA said in March that it was investigating a potential link between incretin mimetic drugs like Byetta and pancreatic cancer. Byetta already carries a risk of pancreatitis, and that warning is listed as part of the drug’s safety information. Other popular incretin mimetic drugs like Byetta include Januvia and Victoza.

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